Strange Adventures #12

When Tom King announced that he was writing an Adam Strange maxi-series, with both Mitch Gerads and Evan “ Doc ” Shaner collaborating with him, I could n’t have been more hype. And nowadays, I could n’t be more perplexed at what they ‘ve created.
I rightfully love Adam Strange, he ‘s been one of my favorite super-heroes since I started reading comics. He represented authoritative, sci-fi adventures with a human effect, with tons of crazy estrange concepts, all the while being in the lapp universe as Batman. But, like many

I truly love Adam Strange, he’s been one of my favorite super-heroes since I started reading comics. He represented classic, sci-fi adventures with a human core, with tons of crazy alien concepts, all the while being in the same universe as Batman. But, like many C-list characters, he faded into the background and would only get an, at-most, decent miniseries. What figuratively killed the character and prevented him from gaining mainstream notoriety is that he was never part of any group or league (Booster Gold became a household name, in part, thanks to the JLI). So, seeing that the character would have the title he deserved was so rewarding for long-lasting Adam Strange fans. And, this series managed to be both frustrating, and not that well-written, which has become common for Tom King, but, re-reading it before the ending helped me make more sense of it, if there is a sense.
Tom King is known for his peculiar and innovating story-telling. Not only does it distinguish itself from contemporary writers, but he’s also more and more versatile, the more we read from him. His Batman run was the playground for so many techniques and writing ideas that paid off, for the most part. With Strange Adventures, like Mr. Miracle, he concentrated himself on a single aspect, ditching the 9-panel grid for a different concept, the three, horizontal panels. While less conventional, Darwyn Cooke has shown the limitless potential of the format through his comics. But, the problem with Tom King is that it doesn’t seem on purpose, but like a restraint. The story is divided in two, supposedly equal parts, in continuing time-lines. And, as the issues need to fluidly alternate between each one, the tool was to have each panel be the exact same size, so neither would seem too different, and to harmonize the reading. And that part is correct in the execution, for the story-telling, but it prevented the comic from getting off the rails and adding some things more. I’m not asking the creative team to reinvent the form each page, but the reading, after a while, becomes pale and repetitive, for what should be thrilling and dreadful. There are other options to alternate between storylines, like in Jeff Lemire’s second arc on Moon Knight. In this favorite of mine, the author mixes realities, to illustrate the fragmentation of the protagonist’s broken mind. And, instead of those three-panel grids, the artists James Stokoe, Wilfredo Torres and Francesco Francavilla draw their panels on their own, then find ways to accommodate them for the harmony and coherence of the story. Strange Adventures’ team shouldn’t copy it, but at least try to be more creative.
As for the two stories, it also becomes repetitive and meaningless after some issues. The part in the present is effective as those classic, Silver Age Adam Strange stories, both in plot and tone, and Evan”Doc” Shaner was the best possible artist for it. Seriously, like Tom King said in an interview, his art is the mental image we all have of comics, which applies even more for old-timed stories. From the costumes to the designs of the alien creatures and the alien technology, the elements are so inspired and visually popping. It may not be his best work, but it’s a deserving one for his talent. This is the best part of that side of the story. While the war on Rann is rather interesting, it’s its subjugation to the other side that limits it. It’s divided from before his daughter’s death to afterwards, and in either case, the reader doesn’t have any interest in it. The sense of fatality, looking at the story from the future and knowing it beforehand, is a bit present, but overshadowed by the rushing of the war. On my first reading, it felt like nothing really happened, but only simple demonstrations of Adam’s bravery. But, from the moment we know what truly happened, it’s content to only finish telling the story, once the plot and themes are entirely understood. As for the present part, it’s even messier. Itself changes its focus too often, sometimes to the entire league fighting an Earth invasion, to just Adam talking with Alanna or Mr. Terrific hanging around and talking to himself. For a mystery book, it should be more tight, each moment counting more instead of just delaying the explanations. The most interesting part is the paranoia around Adam’s past and the too-sudden evolution of his media image, something that he never desired to begin with. There’s so much potential on the place of a hero as a public figure, who himself is ashamed of his actions as a war criminal, wondering if those actions can follow him in the present. Instead, the creative team offers an off-book invasion of Earth and cheap teasing. Also, I don’t think that Mitch Gerads was the right fit to illustrate it. He’s an excellent artist, but his material needs to correspond to his style, and between the panel composition and the content of the pages, he doesn’t shine as much as he could.
A recurring motif in Tom King’s comics is a strong and moral-counterbalancing love interest for the protagonist (Virginia Vision, Catwoman, Big Barda), inspired by his wife whom he often thanks for his works. The intention is all but noble, to homage his love through those complex characters, but he really missed the mark with Alanna Strange. She had even less of a personality than Adam prior to this book, limiting herself to the alien damsel in distress. The Rann storyline intelligently dives with the archetype, playing with the sci-fi conventions. She’s still a great help, but limits herself to backing up her husband, the true hero of the story. But, in the present, she isn’t defined at all. It first seems like she’s the one hiding what happened on Rann. She seems tougher, more bitter and resentful, which is obvious after what happened to her, but she still isn’t defined enough. I get the contrast between the hopeful past and the depressing present, but her lack of evolution, of not trusting Earth nor the people living on it, is what makes the book stagnate. The potential is there for her to shine as the protagonist in the present, aiding the public relationships and being the only emotional support to Adam, but her interactions end up too repetitive, and not compelling after a while.
As for Mr. Terrific, he’s another disappointment. Having him as a co-star was an intriguing idea, as he isn’t related in any way to Adam Strange, nor really the Justice League, so he can properly serve as an impartial third party. Tom King is only able to characterize him as the most brilliant man in the universe, to a ridiculous degree. Comic-books are always silly and hyperbolic, but after doing that trick with Batman, this constant power graduation is too absurd to be believable or acceptable. Still, that execution is pushed to the limit and worked through, constructing the portrait of a superior man, led only by his moral beliefs of fair play. This contrasts with Adam Strange himself, the superior man on Rann. But, his addition still seems too random. As a part of the story, he’s separate from the main story-line to only “investigate”, but that’s not really what happened. The title isn’t a proper detective story (it’s not Rorschach per se), but if the final revelations require being satisfying to the reader, they’re supposed to be at least a little indicated priorly. Even worse is the dire revelatory issue itself, the tenth issue. It’s a trope used too many times at this point by Tom King, of a character narrating and explaining what happened behind the scenes of the entire series, connecting the dots. While it’s each time coherent and visibly prepared, it’s a cheap way of exposition after so much mystery, but just throwing the answers directly at the reader’s face. The infatuation of discovering the truth is lost by this overplayed technique. He’s only forgettable the rest of his time present.
About the themes now, probably Tom King’s greatest talent and what truly made his comics special, they’re more present than I realized on the first reading. The topic is a common one, i. e. war on foreign grounds, balancing the lives of family and of duty for your nation (or plural for Adam Strange), and losing grip on reality. Those concepts are quite personal and intricate to Tom King himself, and while they seemed repetitive at first, they get another dimension thanks to the dual narration. That is thanks to the comic-book authors quotes, which I genuinely couldn’t understand the purpose for on the overall story. The author examines the two stories of our lives : the one about us, and the one we tell others about us, each represented by a different artistic team. The tonal heterogenity is justified, but it doesn’t stop there. The panel that marked me the most is in that revelation issue, in the Evan “Doc” Shaner section. While Alanna uncovers her husband’s maskarad, the idealized, simpler past is being deconstructed, and it’s illustrated by the panel not being finished. The right side of the panel is progressively erased, and only the basic pencils of the drawing are left. The creative team breaks the fourth wall to show what that story truly is : a comic-book story, invented in all pieces by people. The writers’ quotes become another reflection of Adam Strange’s story-telling of what he supposedly did on Rann to the one realized by Tom King and his co-workers. Objectivity of war doesn’t exist, it’s only written by winners, and the ones who fought never tell the truth about it. Adam committed multiple war crimes of all sorts, but also treason against his two planets, then sold his story as a best-selling book from the very beginning. The first issue compares Adam Strange to Tom King himself, as a man who tried to do the best he could, touch people with his writing, but received too much unwanted attention. But, the similarities stop there, and we slowly uncover the truth behind those actions and the book he tried to sold us since we met him. The meta aspect was actually present from the first page, but only became clear in the last act of the series. That’s where the execution is lacking : the message is in part stated in the last issue. The problem is how explicit and direct it is, seemingly limitating the interpretations. There’s still much to uncover, but giving so much away at the end doesn’t invit to try to do so. As an example, his formidable Vision had a form of message delivered in the last issue, but it was only a facade and superficial cover of what the series really said. Tom King still found a way to approach those concepts with a fresh eye, the one of propaganda through fake heroic tales or Silver Age comics, but was once again left off, due to a waste of time. Even today, I’m still studying Vision, as it’s one of the best comics of all times (if not, the best), but I don’t know how Strange Adventures will keep being analysed in the future, especially by how unpleasant part of reading it was.
The last issues were particularly infuriating and frustrating for the Adam Strange fan that I am. We discover not only that [ Adam Strange is a war criminal, murdering innocent troops and bystanders, only because they were Prykkt ( hide pamperer ) [ he negotiated with the enemy, sacrificing his home planet and, momentarily, his daughter ( hide spoiler )

Heroes In Crisis (also recognizing that I’m not really attached to that character). Wally’s actions depended on his misery and desperation, culminating in a mental breakdown. Concerning Adam, the revelations about him come from nowhere, and utterly betray the idealized vision of him. But, I realized then that it was exactly the point, to deconstruct war propaganda and show how crooked and selfish he actually is. It pained me to see my idol so stubborn and impulsive, but I learned to separate my personal feelings to discover the truth about my hero : that everything I’ve seen about him is just another tale, another silly comic-book. That’s what the book tries to show, the reality of our heroes, beyond what they try to sell us. It’s ultimately far bleaker than it seems, but since Mitch Gerads’ cover for the first issue, it was presented as such. Still, all that aside, his characterization isn’t tight enough for me to entirely accept it, and his legacy seems to be of murder and deceipt.
I may be quite negative on the review, but for Tom King, he put extremely high standars, after crafting successive, unique masterpieces for years. Strange Adventures could have been his new Mr. Miracle, but lost itself in the way. The double naration was a cheap trick that artistically and visually limited the creative possibilites, while the story couldn’t advance in the part that needed more work. The characters are superficial or incoherent, if non inexistant, and it was devoided of the emotional core, while the philosophical one was still there. The artists really couldn’t save it, though Evan “Doc” Shaner produced some iconic pages for the character, and I hope that it helped him progress in his career. I needed some time to digest this comic, after what it revealed about Adam Strange. I didn’t want, nor needed, this message, but I’m glad that it tried that at least. Still, I consider that this wouldn’t have happened if DC hadn’t ignored the hero for decades, and actually worked around him, instead of letting him rot on this carcass. A deeply complex and almost enthralling one, but a carcass nonetheless. When Tom King announced that he was writing an Adam Strange maxi-series, with both Mitch Gerads and Evan “ Doc ” Shaner collaborating with him, I could n’t have been more hype. And immediately, I could n’t be more complicate at what they ‘ve created.I in truth love Adam Strange, he ‘s been one of my favorite super-heroes since I started reading comics. He represented classical, sci-fi adventures with a human core, with tons of crazy alien concepts, all the while being in the same universe as Batman. But, like many C-list characters, he faded into the backdrop and would lone get an, at-most, decent miniseries. What figuratively killed the character and prevented him from gaining mainstream notoriety is that he was never part of any group or league ( Booster Gold became a family name, in region, thanks to the JLI ). so, seeing that the character would have the title he deserved was then rewarding for durable Adam Strange fans. And, this series managed to be both frustrating, and not that well-written, which has become common for Tom King, but, re-reading it before the ending helped me make more sense of it, if there is a sense.Tom King is known for his particular and innovating story-telling. not entirely does it distinguish itself from contemporary writers, but he ‘s besides more and more versatile, the more we read from him. His Batman move was the resort area for indeed many techniques and writing ideas that paid off, for the most part. With, like, he concentrated himself on a single aspect, ditching the 9-panel grid for a different concept, the three, horizontal panels. While less conventional, Darwyn Cooke has shown the unlimited potential of the format through his comics. But, the trouble with Tom King is that it does n’t seem on aim, but like a restraint. The narrative is divided in two, purportedly equal parts, in continuing time-lines. And, as the issues need to fluidly interchange between each one, the tool was to have each panel be the exact same size, so neither would seem excessively different, and to harmonize the reading. And that part is correct in the execution, for the story-telling, but it prevented the comic from getting off the rails and adding some things more. I ‘m not asking the creative team to reinvent the form each page, but the read, after a while, becomes pale and insistent, for what should be thrilling and awful. There are other options to alternate between storylines, like in Jeff Lemire ‘s second arch on. In this darling of mine, the author blend realities, to illustrate the fragmentation of the protagonist ‘s break mind. And, rather of those three-panel grids, the artists James Stokoe, Wilfredo Torres and Francesco Francavilla draw their panels on their own, then find ways to accommodate them for the harmony and coherence of the report. strange Adventures ‘ team should n’t copy it, but at least try to be more creative.As for the two stories, it besides becomes repetitive and meaningless after some issues. The separate in the present is effective as those classical, Silver Age Adam Strange stories, both in plot and tonicity, and Evan ” Doc ” Shaner was the best possible artist for it. badly, like Tom King said in an interview, his artwork is the mental picture we all have of comics, which applies evening more for old-timed stories. From the costumes to the designs of the alien creatures and the alien technology, the elements are so cheer and visually popping. It may not be his best work, but it ‘s a deserving one for his endowment. This is the best part of that side of the report. While the war on Rann is rather interesting, it ‘s its oppression to the other slope that limits it. It ‘s divided from before his daughter ‘s death to afterwards, and in either font, the reader does n’t have any interest in it. The sense of fatality, looking at the history from the future and knowing it advance, is a snatch confront, but overshadowed by the rush of the war. On my first base read, it felt like nothing in truth happened, but only simple demonstrations of Adam ‘s courage. But, from the moment we know what rightfully happened, it ‘s content to only finish telling the history, once the plot and themes are wholly sympathize. As for the present character, it ‘s evening messier. Itself changes its focus besides much, sometimes to the entire league fighting an ground invasion, to just Adam talking with Alanna or Mr. Terrific hanging round and talking to himself. For a mystery book, it should be more tight, each moment counting more alternatively of barely delaying the explanations. The most interest part is the paranoia around Adam ‘s past and the too-sudden development of his media image, something that he never desired to begin with. There ‘s sol much potential on the station of a hero as a public digit, who himself is ashamed of his actions as a war criminal, wondering if those actions can follow him in the salute. alternatively, the creative team offers an off-book invasion of Earth and brassy tease. besides, I do n’t think that Mitch Gerads was the right fit to illustrate it. He ‘s an excellent artist, but his corporeal needs to correspond to his expressive style, and between the empanel musical composition and the contented of the pages, he does n’t shine arsenic much as he could.A recurring motif in Tom King ‘s comics is a strong and moral-counterbalancing love interest for the protagonist ( Virginia Vision, Catwoman, Big Barda ), inspired by his wife whom he frequently thanks for his works. The intention is all but noble, to homage his beloved through those complex characters, but he truly missed the score with Alanna Strange. She had evening less of a personality than Adam prior to this script, limiting herself to the alien damsel in straiten. The Rann storyline intelligently dives with the original, playing with the sci-fi conventions. She ‘s still a bang-up help, but limits herself to backing up her conserve, the true hero of the floor. But, in the present, she is n’t defined at all. It first seems like she ‘s the one hide what happened on Rann. She seems tougher, more bitter and resentful, which is obvious after what happened to her, but she calm is n’t defined enough. I get the contrast between the aspirant past and the press down present, but her miss of evolution, of not trusting Earth nor the people living on it, is what makes the book stagnate. The electric potential is there for her to shine as the protagonist in the present, aiding the public relationships and being the only aroused accompaniment to Adam, but her interactions end up excessively repetitive, and not compelling after a while.As for Mr. Terrific, he ‘s another disappointment. Having him as a co-star was an scheme mind, as he is n’t related in any way to Adam Strange, nor truly the Justice League, so he can by rights serve as an impartial third party. Tom King is only able to characterize him as the most bright world in the universe, to a farcical degree. Comic-books are always silly and hyperbolic, but after doing that trick with Batman, this changeless power graduation is besides absurd to be credible or satisfactory. still, that execution is pushed to the terminus ad quem and worked through, constructing the portrait of a superior man, led only by his moral beliefs of fair shimmer. This contrasts with Adam Strange himself, the ranking homo on Rann. But, his summation still seems excessively random. As a separate of the narrative, he ‘s separate from the main story-line to only “ investigate ”, but that ‘s not truly what happened. The championship is n’t a proper detective fib ( it ‘s notper southeast ), but if the final revelations require being satisfying to the lector, they ‘re supposed to be at least a little indicate priorly. even worse is the desperate apocalyptic exit itself, the tenth issue. It ‘s a trope used excessively many times at this point by Tom King, of a character tell and explaining what happened behind the scenes of the stallion series, connecting the dots. While it ‘s each time coherent and visibly organize, it ‘s a brassy direction of exposition after then much mystery, but good throwing the answers directly at the subscriber ‘s face. The infatuation of discovering the truth is lost by this overact proficiency. He ‘s only forgettable the rest of his clock present.About the themes now, credibly Tom King ‘s greatest talent and what sincerely made his comics special, they ‘re more portray than I realized on the first reading. The topic is a common one, i. e. war on alien grounds, balancing the lives of class and of duty for your nation ( or plural for Adam Strange ), and losing handle on reality. Those concepts are quite personal and intricate to Tom King himself, and while they seemed insistent at first gear, they get another property thanks to the double narration. That is thanks to the comic-book authors quotes, which I authentically could n’t understand the aim for on the overall fib. The author examines the two stories of our lives : the one about us, and the one we tell others about us, each represented by a unlike artistic team. The tonic heterogenity is absolve, but it does n’t stop there. The control panel that marked me the most is in that disclosure issue, in the Evan “ Doc ” Shaner department. While Alanna uncovers her husband ‘s maskarad, the idealize, bare past is being deconstructed, and it ‘s illustrated by the empanel not being finished. The justly side of the panel is increasingly erased, and only the basic pencils of the pull back are left. The creative team breaks the fourth wall to show what that narrative truly is : a comic-book history, invented in all pieces by people. The writers ‘ quotes become another observation of Adam Strange ‘s story-telling of what he purportedly did on Rann to the one realized by Tom King and his co-workers. Objectivity of war does n’t exist, it ‘s only written by winners, and the ones who fought never tell the accuracy about it. Adam committed multiple war crimes of all sorts, but besides treason against his two planets, then sold his narrative as a best-selling book from the very beginning. The beginning issue compares Adam Strange to Tom King himself, as a man who tried to do the best he could, touch people with his spell, but received excessively much undesirable attention. But, the similarities stop there, and we lento uncover the accuracy behind those actions and the bible he tried to sold us since we met him. The meta aspect was actually present from the first page, but only became clear in the last act of the serial. That ‘s where the murder is lacking : the message is in character stated in the final topic. The problem is how explicit and address it is, apparently limitating the interpretations. There ‘s still much to uncover, but giving so much away at the end does n’t invit to try to do so. As an model, his formidablehad a kind of message delivered in the last write out, but it was only a facade and superficial cover of what the series actually said. Tom King even found a way to approach those concepts with a fresh eye, the one of propaganda through juke epic tales or Silver Age comics, but was once again left off, due to a lay waste to of time. even today, I ‘m still studying, as it ‘s one of the best comics of all times ( if not, the best ), but I do n’t know howwill keep being analysed in the future, particularly by how unpleasant part of reading it was.The last issues were particularly exasperating and frustrating for the Adam Strange fan that I am. We discover not only that ( view spoiler ), but besides that ( view spoiler ). At first gear, I considered it mis-characterisation, about a profanation to him. But, the accuracy is that Adam Strange was never a define person to begin with, so technically, Tom King had every right to make him do that. His other stories are besides erstwhile to be significant or impact his show self, this is a advanced reinterpretation of a space soldier, one that I disagree with. Before going on, I recognize how bias I am, but I still do n’t think that it was handled well. To compare with another controversial Tom King floor, I prefer wally West ‘s discussion in ( besides recognizing that I ‘m not very attached to that character ). Wally ‘s actions depended on his misery and despair, culminating in a genial breakdown. Concerning Adam, the revelations about him come from nowhere, and absolutely betray the idealize vision of him. But, I realized then that it was precisely the item, to deconstruct war propaganda and show how hunched and selfish he actually is. It pained me to see my idol indeed refractory and hotheaded, but I learned to separate my personal feelings to discover the truth about my hero : that everything I ‘ve seen about him is just another fib, another pathetic comic-book. That ‘s what the bible tries to show, the world of our heroes, beyond what they try to sell us. It ‘s ultimately far bleaker than it seems, but since Mitch Gerads ‘ cover for the beginning offspring, it was presented as such. still, all that digression, his characterization is n’t nasty enough for me to wholly accept it, and his bequest seems to be of mangle and deceipt.I may be quite negative on the review, but for Tom King, he put extremely high standars, after crafting consecutive, alone masterpieces for years.could have been his new, but lost itself in the means. The double naration was a cheap flim-flam that artistically and visually limited the creative possibilites, while the story could n’t advance in the character that needed more work. The characters are superficial or incoherent, if not inexistant, and it was devoided of the aroused core, while the philosophical one was still there. The artists in truth could n’t save it, though Evan “ Doc ” Shaner produced some iconic pages for the character, and I hope that it helped him progress in his career. I needed some time to digest this amusing, after what it revealed about Adam Strange. I did n’t want, nor needed, this message, but I ‘m glad that it tried that at least. still, I consider that this would n’t have happened if DC had n’t ignored the bomber for decades, and actually worked around him, alternatively of letting him rot on this carcase. A profoundly complex and about enthralling one, but a carcase however.

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